It’s always been a small crisis of mine…when it comes to my country, and love of country, where exactly do my loyalties lie?
I’m a Filipina, The Philippines has been my home for the past 20 plus years. I am fiercely proud of its culture and history. Yet, a part of me belongs to America. I was born there (NYC), and I have wonderful childhood memories growing up there (LA, California). I have been told that I sometimes think and talk like one, too. I am proud of American history and it’s culture and heritage.
I am what you call a ‘Third Culture Kid’. I have written about this before in a previous post written last year, entitled ‘Two Countries for Just One Me’. One might argue that I should stick to just one country, especially to the Philippines, as that is where my bloodlines come from. However, things such as race and blood gets blurry when it comes to people like me. There are moments when I feel that I don’t belong, that I’m not just a Filipina, and there are moments when I am not just an Ameican. The way I sometimes think or talk is very American. I apparently converse better with Americans. I love having scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast. I love eating corn dogs smothered with loads of ketchup and mustard. Some of my ideals are American. However, I am Asian and a Filipina. I love dishes such as Sinigang, and Adobo, and Sisig and Lechon will always be my guilty pleasure. Walking along the streets of Intramuros or Binondo give me a sense of pride at being Filipino. However, talking and learning about great American leaders and things like the American War for Independence are part of my obsessions. These two great countries are what makes me who I am.
I celebrate two Independence Days, and I make it a point to hold a Thanksgiving dinner every year.
I remember having an argument with a friend and schoolmate a long ago about loyalty to country. I believe this happened during my junior year in high school. Back then I was contemplating studying in the States, and then coming back to serve the country with whatever I have learned. I remember her telling me that I couldn’t do that- that I had to choose between America and the Philippines, and I was unnerved. At that time, I believed that it was okay to be both.
I am obsessed with the idea of country, because I am the exception to the rule. I am both American and Filipino. I hold an American passport, yet I am Filipino. In the end, I believe that l, although this will haunt me until I die, that it is possible to love two countries at the same time.